The Open Geo-Stack: OpenLayers, GeoServer, PostGIS

Location: Salon E Level: Intermediate

This workshop aims to get you set up with what it takes to deploy a full open geo-stack. Focusing on open source, open standards, and open data, you end up with solid technologies that provide flexibility in building your web mapping solution.

We begin with geodata; whether you’re sitting on terabytes of information or setting up a service to collect your first point, you need a place to store your data. From persistence, we’ll move on to publishing. Deploying a service that can flexibly handle reading/writing of your data, regardless of formats or origins, provides a solid core to your stack. That service will communicate with a variety of clients. We’ll dive into browser-based clients—demonstrating tools to efficiently display your data and allow for editing, all from a web browser. Finally, we’ll go beyond the browser to demo virtual globes, and we’ll discuss mix-and-match solutions that involve proprietary and open source components in harmony.

The workshop will focus on the following technology stack:

PersistencePostgreSQL / PostGIS

PostgreSQL is a high-performance object-relational database management system. PostGIS extends spatial data capabilities to Postgres. We’ll cover setting up Postgres with PostGIS, designing your data models, and importing your data.


GeoServer is a feature rich, standards compliant open source server that connects your information to the geospatial web. The workshop will give you what you need to configure GeoServer to publish your data on the Web. We’ll walk through a configuration with a Postgres back-end, and we’ll discuss setups with a variety of other data sources. Advanced topics such as vector data versioning will be covered, in addition to high performance raster handling, data styling, and integration with browser-based and desktop clients.


OpenLayers provides the base for a browser-based mapping client. This workshop will cover the basics of building an application with OpenLayers—getting a simple slippy map interface to display your data. We’ll demonstrate how to layer data from various sources on a single map. In addition, we’ll use editing tools to modify your data and send it back to the server. In a collaborative editing environment a client needs to be able to handle modification history. We’ll demonstrate simple client side undo/redo and more richly featured version control with rollbacks and revision comparisons.

Going beyond these three core components, we’ll wrap up the workshop with an overview of additional open source projects that complement this stack. We’ll discuss GeoNetwork Open Source for a catalog application, uDig for a desktop GIS, and NASA WorldWind for a virtual globe. Finally, we’ll illustrate how proprietary components can fit in.

Photo of Tim Schaub

Tim Schaub


Mr. Schaub works as a geospatial solutions engineer for The Open Planning Project. He serves as on the Project Steering Committee and is a core developer of OpenLayers.

Photo of Chris Holmes

Chris Holmes


Chris Holmes is Managing Director, Strategic Development of The Open Planning Project (TOPP). Chris has served as lead developer of GeoServer, and currently chairs the Project Steering Committee, and he is also on the Project Management Committee of GeoTools, the leading Java GIS toolkit. Chris is additionally a board member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation, of which GeoTools is a founding project.

Justin Deoliveira

Justin Deoliveira Consulting

Justin joined The Open Planning Project in 2005. As a Geotools module maintainer and uDig commiter Justin has been active in the open source geospatial community for some time. Since joining TOPP Justin has become an active developer on the GeoServer project. He graduated in 2005 from The University of Victoria with a BSC in Computer Science.

  • Autodesk
  • Google
  • ESRI
  • Nokia
  • DigitalGlobe
  • Earthscape
  • LightPole
  • MapJack
  • MapQuest
  • MetaCarta
  • Microsoft
  • Poly9
  • Skyhook Wireless
  • TeleAtlas
  • Yahoo! Inc.
  • Zvents
  • BNet

Press and Media

For media-related inquiries, contact Maureen Jennings at

Contact Us

View a complete list of Where 2.0 contacts.